Police Officer “Scalps” Arrested Woman
In November 2013, 22-year-old Charda Gregory went to a party in Detroit, Michigan. She says that she was drugged because she does not remember anything until regaining consciousness in a motel room in Warren, Michigan when police came to arrest her for trashing the room. In the process, Gregory was pepper sprayed.
Video shows that Gregory entered the jail calm but could barely stand. She was approached by Officer Bernadette Najor who patted her down. Gregory removed her boots and her sweater. An officer in the video is standing in such a manner that it’s hard to see what Najor, another officer, and Gregory were doing, but the next thing we see is one officer go into a room and come out with a restraining chair. Gregory was placed in that chair that held down her arms.
Paul Misukewicz, Gregory’s attorney, told WXYZ that the officer “[Najor] took it upon herself to get the scissors. And for whatever reason, decided that she was going to butcher my client.”
It was a dehumanizing act of humiliation. Over the course of three minutes, Najor hacked away at hair that was sewn to Gregory’s own hair, pulling it in the process. She pulled so hard at times that Gregory’s head was completely back. Gregory now has bald spots because Najor ripped some of her real hair out by the roots.
Najor’s defense? She said that she had to remove Gregory’s weave because of alleged threats of suicide.
When Warren Police Commissioner Jere Green, and City Attorney David Griem, along with other officials learned of the incident, they fired Officer Najor. Commissioner Green told WXYZ, “I don’t buy that’s the proper way to treat a human being. I don’t think it’s decent, I don’t think there was any reason to do it, and when I look at it – that bothers me.” Griem told WJBK, “There is a policy about removing wigs, but, that doesn’t cover scalping a person.”
Ms. Gregory settled a lawsuit with Warren out of court. The criminal charges that were filed against her have been dismissed. As for the now former police officer, Bernadette Najor, she refused to talk to WXYZ about the matter. The station found out that in 2010, Najor was suspended without pay for 10 days for being “untruthful.”
The other officers who were present are still under investigation and facing possible discipline. They did report Najor’s use of force to their superiors.
Here’s the full video. It has no audio.